My son goes to a school that groups children by ability for their second language learning and maths number. Although he is a child who has historically taken longer to learn , he has found himself in the “extension groups” for both of these subjects the term .
He has moments he loves this. And moments that he hates it.
Tonight is a hate night. He’s feeling that he’s not as good as the other children in the group.
He says he thinks if there were no ability groups, the people in the lower groups would be happy. The people in the higher groups think they are better than everyone else but if they were with other people in their home room class, they would be able to learn with anyone, any time. He says if you take the same people out every time in maths or any class, everyone knows they are not good at that subject.
He talks about a different teacher who allows the children to choose which level they think they are on. If they choose one that’s too hard , they take an easier one.
Do we listen to children?
Are we building or depleting their self-esteem?
Does ability grouping help or hinder learning and building confidence?
Who benefits from grouping … Learners or teachers?
Who is school about ?